Peaceful and playful
In Costa Rica you’re free to enjoy the ultimate away-from-it-all trip, staying in luxury accommodation at Playa de Matapalo or Playa Flamingo – the latter of which is known for its fishing opportunities and sunset cruises. If you prefer, you could also stay near a small town like Playa Tamarindo to make the most of its facilities.
What all resorts across the country have in common is access to amazing beaches and tropical jungles. You can easily get set up on family-friendly nature tours through the jungle and mangroves, exploring caves and the ocean. As well as wildlife-spotting, Costa Rica holidays are full of opportunities to go rock climbing, ziplining, scuba diving and horseback riding to take in the scenery. Remember, if you book on a budget with one of our cheap Costa Rica holidays you’ve got plenty of spending money for all kinds of adventures!
Playa Tamarindo is perhaps the liveliest place to stay in Costa Rica and you’ll be in the company of surfers who make the most of the waves here. There are some good jewellery and clothes shops, as well as a central plaza that houses bars and one nightclub. Aqua Disco is set over two floors and puts on a popular Ladies Night every Monday.
In Playa Tamarindo and nearby Playa Hermosa, you’ll find beach bars that put on parties on the sand, but otherwise nightlife is pretty low key in Costa Rica. Much of the entertainment is in the hotels, with live music and shows being held regularly. All Inclusive Costa Rica holidays may be more ideal for those looking for lively evenings.
In order to preserve Costa Rica’s beautiful natural environment, its government has formed national conservation areas, including over 100 national parks, biological reserves and wildlife refuges. In the north-western area near Playa Hermosa and Tamarindo are Parque Nacionals Santa Rosa, Guanacaste, Palo Verde and Rincon de la Vieja.
Ecotourism is encouraged and you can explore these areas with a guide, who’ll take you to spot the exotic, colourful birds and wildlife including patterned tree frogs and sloths. There are also night tours where you can spot giant insects, moths and bats. Even if you don’t go on an organised tour, you’re sure to see monkeys frolicking in the trees and turtles flapping on the beaches so make sure to check out all our Costa Rica holiday deals to find the perfect one for you.
Central Costa Rica’s volcanoes and capital city
The centre of the country is home to two volcanoes – Arenal and Poas – with the former looming over a huge lake of the same name. Local tour guides offer boat trips to take in the immense scenery, plus some of the world’s top windsurfing and sailboarding conditions. You can also kayak on the lake and catch rainbow bass or cycle or ride horse-back around its shores.
South of Lake Arenal is Monteverde cloud forest, an unusual area of woodland where the top canopy is almost always covered in fog. The moisture here creates a huge amount of biodiversity. You can traverse a set of eight hanging bridges that are strung high across the trees before ziplining one kilometre down, spotting toucans as you go.
If shopping and culture is more your thing, Costa Rica’s capital San Jose is located in the centre of the country. It offers a fantastic mix of neo-classical and modern architecture, housing numerous art galleries, bars and museums. There’s plenty to do to keep you occupied for a full day and plenty of delicious food for fuel.